SCOTUS Should Cancel ‘Return to Mexico’ Policy, ABA Says in Amicus Brief
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The Trump administration’s “stay in Mexico” policy undermines asylum seekers’ right to counsel, due process and ethical standards under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA said on Thursday. the Supreme Court of the United States.
In one amicus brief deposit Chad F. Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security et al., c. Innovation Law Lab et al., the ABA noted that only 7% of those affected by the policy, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, are represented by a lawyer. Citing government data, the association said 60% of immigrants to the United States have an attorney.
The MPP, announced in December 2018, allows the US Department of Homeland Security to return asylum seekers to Mexico pending deportation proceedings. In its brief, the ABA also argued that the policy hampers the ability of US-based attorneys to meet and communicate confidentially with their clients at the border.
In one example, the association pointed out that officials at two tent hearing centers in South Texas only gave attorneys one hour to meet with clients before asylum proceedings.
“The MPP prevents asylum seekers from accessing a full and fair resolution of their asylum claims by limiting meaningful access to a lawyer and frustrating the ability of lawyers to safely and ethically represent asylum seekers. MPP asylum seekers,” the ABA wrote in its brief. “The deputy cannot be considered authorized by a federal law when, in doing so, this court would flout another federal law, the Constitution and the ethical obligations of lawyers.
Chad Wolf, then acting secretary of Homeland Security, and several other Trump administration officials filed their certificate petition in April after the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a universal preliminary injunction restraining the implementation or expansion of the MPP. The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, upheld.
“Review by this court is warranted because the decision below seriously and wrongfully undermines the express authority of the executive in matters of contiguous return, which the secretary has implemented to manage the massive influx of foreigners arriving at our border without a legal basis for admission,” according to the certificate petition.
In February, the ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution expressing opposition to the MPP and urging the federal government to maintain an asylum system that provides those fleeing persecution or torture with access to counsel, due process and full and fair arbitration rights that are consistent with U.S. and international law.
In “Achieving America’s Immigration Promise: ABA Recommendations to Advance Justice, Fairness and Efficiency,” the ABA also outlined key policy recommendations for the Biden administration. Month of January report recommends that the MPP and other policies that restrict access to counsel for non-citizens in removal proceedings be repealed.
Oral arguments are scheduled for March 1, but as noted in a ABA press releasethe arrival of a new administration could alter the future of politics and this business.
On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed six decrees aimed at reversing the immigration program of the previous administration. The Department of Homeland Security also announced that it would suspend the “stay in Mexico” policy.
Updated at 1:06 p.m. to correct an erroneous attribution made in the editorial process.